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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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The Last Week of Langit Lupa

It’s all down to one final week for ‘Langit Lupa’.

This Friday, ABS-CBN will air the 108th and final episode of ‘Langit Lupa’, the late weekday morning drama starring Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor. The series tells the story of two best friends whose origins and issues with their parents test their bond together.

Also starring in ‘Langit Lupa’ are Yam Concepcion, Alessandra de Rossi, Patrick Garcia, Jason Abalos, Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. The series is directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

‘Langit Lupa’ first premiered on November 28, 2016 and made an immediate impact, earning a rating of 17.5% to rule its timeslot against GMA’s ‘Trops’, which only scored 8.7%. From that point on, ‘Langit Lupa’ continued ABS-CBN’s dominance in the late-morning slot, averaging around 15% compared to ‘Trops” 9% in Kantar.

The series was also a regular trending topic on social media, with viewers praising the acting abilities of child stars Yesha and Xia. The latter’s performances on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ likewise boosted not only her individual popularity, but also of the show with which she stars.

Despite its success, ‘Langit Lupa’ may be considered one of ABS-CBN’s more underrated late-morning series. Unlike another child-starred drama in ‘Ningning’ (starring ‘Dream Dad”s Jana Agoncillo), the two child stars of ‘Langit Lupa’ are essentially rookies in the field of entertainment, thus their performances and recognition still have more room for improvement.

Nevertheless, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents the first big leap in the careers of Yesha and Xia. With ABS-CBN’s growing reputation as a ‘child star factory’, greater things are expected for the two in terms of their career path.

Come this Friday, it will be the cutest finale journey for Princess (Yesha) and Esang (Xia). For viewers who have tuned in to ‘Langit Lupa’ from the beginning, a memorable and wonderful conclusion awaits.

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Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids Finale This Sunday, Plus The Voice Teens Next Week

Palm and Easter Sunday will have a respective finale and a premiere of two hit ABS-CBN talent shows.

On Palm Sunday weekend, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ will officially close the curtain on its first season. The finale will see all eight celebrity kids duke it out one last time for a chance to become this season’s grand winner.

Premiering on January 7, 2017, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ became the latest in a series of hit talent shows on the Kapamilya network. Much of its success has to do with the eight celebrity kids and their uncanny ability to replicate the mannerisms of the artists they imitate.

Whether they cheer for AC Bonifacio, Awra Briguela, Justin Alva, Alonzo Muhlach, Elha Nympha, Lyca Gairanod, Sam Shoaf or Xia Vigor, they were rewarded with memorable performances that are both astonishing and unreal. It is these visual images which made ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ a hit to all audiences.

Come this Sunday, only one of them will win it all. That said, good luck to the eight celebrity kids in their quest to become the grand winner.

Then on Easter Sunday, ‘The Voice Teens’ Philippines (only the second in the franchise after Colombia) premieres on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar”s vacated slot. This latest season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ franchise will inherit the same team of judges that presided in Season 3 of ‘The Voice Kids’, save for one returning judge.

After not taking part in Season 3 of ‘The Voice Kids’ due to her busy performing schedule, Sarah Geronimo decided to return to the judges’ table for ‘The Voice Teens’. She will join holdovers Lea Salonga, Sharon Cuneta and Bamboo Mañalac.

As for the hosts of ‘The Voice Teens’, it will be Luis Manzano and Toni Gonzaga who will take the helm. Auditions for this new season took place earlier this year, and the first few episodes of ‘The Voice Teens’ will show some of the highlights leading up to the blind auditions.

‘The Voice Teens’ will air every Saturday after ‘Home Sweetie Home’ (the first Saturday episode will be seen on April 22), and every Sunday after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ on ABS-CBN.

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Full House Tonight: A Poor Man’s Version of Sunday PinaSaya

Seems like GMA is producing its own ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ for Saturday nights.

Hoping to make good use of their otherwise lethargic Saturday primetime lineup, GMA decided to go all out and unveil a new comedy-musical variety show. The show is called ‘Full House Tonight’, and its lead host is none other than Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Yes, Regine is still with Channel 7 (she also hosts ‘Sarap Diva’ on the same channel) even as her husband Ogie Alcasid moved over to archrival ABS-CBN in order to become a judge on ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. Talk about a divorce of the professional kind.

Anyway, ‘Full House Tonight’ will feature a mix of sketches, improvisational comedy, parody and stand-up comedy with a hint of stage musical performances thrown in for good measure. Of course, there will be some special guests to spice up the show.

In essence, ‘Full House Tonight’ is ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on a Saturday night, or perhaps more like a Filipino working man’s version of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’. At worst it could be another ‘Comedy Central Market’ or ‘Comedy Bar’.

‘Full House Tonight’ will also feature Solenn Heussaff, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Joross Gamboa as Regine’s co-hosts. They will be joined by comedians Philip Lazaro, Kim Idol, Terry Gian, Sarah Brakensiek, Tammy Brown, and Nar Cabico.

A daunting task lies ahead for ‘Full House Tonight’ as they begin their run this Saturday. The show will premiere against ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and based on the latter’s strong ratings as it nears its conclusion, there is no doubt that ‘Full House Tonight’ will have its hands full in trying to win this battle.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Full House Tonight’ can reinvigorate GMA’s Sabado Star Power primetime. The show may have an interesting and novel format, but it will be up to the viewers to judge.

‘Full House Tonight’ airs every Saturday night after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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In 100 Words: Ogie Alcasid Officially a Kapamilya

Say hello to new ABS-CBN star Ogie Alcasid.

The multi-awarded singer-songwriter officially inked a contract with ABS-CBN yesterday. formally welcoming him on the Kapamilya camp. This is now his second stint with ABS-CBN after starting his entertainment career with the said network over two decades ago.

Ogie, who also carved a career as a comedian on shows like ABC-5’s ‘Tropang Trumpo’ and GMA’s ‘Bubble Gang’, is currently a judge on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ and ‘It’s Showtime”s Tawag ng Tanghalan. He also joins a rare list of couples who work on separate networks, as wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid remains under contract with GMA.

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Celebrity Kids to Take Over New Season of Your Face Sounds Familiar

The kids are coming to ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ this weekend.

Season 3 of the ABS-CBN reality talent show will have a new twist, as the child stars of the Kapamilya network take center stage in one of the cutest and most entertaining seasons yet. The eight kids who will be part of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar: Kids’ are:

  • AC Bonifacio – the ‘Dance Sweetheart’
  • Alonzo Muhlach – the ‘Bibong Child Wonder’
  • Awra Briguela – the ‘Breakout Child Star’
  • Elha Nympha – the ‘Big Shot Belter’
  • Justin Alva – the ‘Musikerong Charmer’
  • Lyca Gairanod – the ‘Young Diva ng Masa’
  • Sam Shoaf – the ‘Talented Cutie’
  • Xia Vigor – the ‘Daytime Princess’

Each of these young stars will undergo serious vocal, acting and dance training, as well as a makeup transformation, in order to perform like the idol that they will imitate. Every episode will see a winner crowned via a point tally, and he/she will earn a specific cash prize, half of which goes to the charity of their choosing.

By the end of this season, the grand winner will join Melai Cantiveros and Denise Laurel in the winner’s circle. Overall, the format of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ remains the same, save for the ages of the contestants.

The new season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ will also have a new face in the panel of judges. Enter Ogie Alcasid, the recently-acquired Kapamilya talent who has long been renowned for his musical prowess.

Ogie will join holdovers Sharon Cuneta and Gary Valenciano in the judges’ table. As for the presenter of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’, it will still be Billy Crawford.

The first two seasons of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ proved to be runaway hits thanks to the unique approach that the show took. As the kids take center stage this weekend, one can only hope that the third season will be just as exciting and entertaining as the first two.

‘Your Face Sounds Familiar: Kids’ airs every Saturday after ‘Home Sweetie Home’, and every Sunday after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’.

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